As I’ve watched MMA over the years, I’ve become less about rooting for particular fighters and just enjoying the moments. About two minutes into the fight, I began to think that Holm had a legit chance to win as Rousey’s boxing was wild and reckless while Holm maintained her composure and continued to tee off on her. By the end of the round (which clearly went to Holm), I was legitimately thinking Rousey’s reign was in trouble.
When the head kick occurred that put Rousey out, I screamed out with excitement, not because I wanted Rousey to lose (I really didn’t care either way), but because of the magnitude of the moment, and realization that I was watching a majorly historical moment in MMA history. Very few people gave Holm any sort of chance, myself included in the naysayers. I didn’t care that I was wrong, I was just ecstatic to see such an awesome moment!
The UFC has to be happy with this as well, since it opens up the division once again, in addition to making an immediate star out of Holm. Don’t get me wrong, Rousey is still the cash cow, and because of that she will get an immediate rematch (rightfully so) which will likely draw a massive amount of eyes. I could see the UFC waiting until UFC 200 to pit these two against one another once again, but I’m also certain that Rousey will be pushing to get back into the cage long before that time. She has to remember that she isn’t the champion anymore. She called the shots because she was champion (Remember her telling Cyborg “The champ doesn’t come to you, you go to the champ”), now she is going to have to be patient.
What I’m uncertain of now is what happens with Cyborg. If Rousey is unable to regain her belt in the inevitable rematch, will she be forced to fight Cyborg at 140 lbs now that she is no longer champion? If she does regain it, will we see a rubber match between her and Holm right away? There is a lot that still needs to play out, but these events made women’s bantamweight a lot more interesting for sure.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I was stunned. I wouldn’t have thought that Holm would have been able to dominate Rousey like she did. Holm controlled everything in that fight. The first round was unlike anything we’ve ever seen from a Rousey opponent. It was brilliant, it was masterful. She got Rousey completely off her game and had her chasing butterflies. Rousey looked like she had banana peels on her feet at times, everything was thrown out the window. It was incredible to watch.
Rousey gets a title shot immediately upon her return. There’s no other way to handle things. Yeah, Rousey got dominated, but prior to this she was the one doing the dominating. Who else are you going to give the title shot to? If Rousey is going to do a movie first, you give her the title shot when she gets back. If Holm wants to fight in the meantime, you match her against someone. I’m assuming Miesha Tate would be the first in line to want the shot, but you let Holm pick her next opponent. Or at least have a say in it. She just dominated the queen of the division, she’s earned that right.
CASH NORMAN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I was ecstatic. However, I don’t know that it was so shocking. In previous roundtable discussions I’ve mentioned Ronda’s lack of head movement, and although she’s improved upon her striking it has never been great nor technical. She’s hasn’t deserved the praise she’s had lauded upon her, especially as it relates to her striking prowess. When I speak of unnecessary praise and accolades being heaped, I’m looking at you Joe Rogan.
What Ronda has always had was insane aggression and determination to steam roll forward to work herself into the clinch. Once in the clinch she has more recently worked on setting up her judo throw with a knee to the midsection rather than just initially going to the judo throw; this aspect of her game developed after Liz Carmouche successfully took her back.
Her striking has always been very rote and wild, she does the same thing from opponent to opponent. It was frustrating that her oppositions coaches hadn’t developed better strategies to deal with Ronda in previous fights.
Other than not being as capable on the feet as some would have you believe, Ronda also has deplorable footwork. Simple lateral movement and quick pivots was all that was needed to prevent Ronda from being able to set up a clinch with Holly Holm.
As per usual UFC practice they will give Ronda an immediate rematch. It’s not that I believe she doesn’t deserve a rematch but I think she has so many aspects of her game she needs to work on it may be beneficial for her to have one to two fights prior to fighting Holm again. However, this wouldn’t be in the UFC’s plan to capitalize monetarily on the rematch. The UFC is so eager to cash in on certain fights they don’t give fighters time to develop. Ronda ran into someone that was just as big and strong but also unwilling to play her game and she couldn’t adjust. I don’t believe it’s that she was incapable of adjusting but do believe she didn’t have the tools to be able to do so.
To all the Rousey fans that said she was too aggressive, she’s always aggressive. She’s always been a bull charging straight ahead, Holly Holm just happened to be a very capable matador.